Name: Andrew Loh Zhu An
Date of Birth: 2nd June 1987
Nationality: Malaysian


SMK Damansara Jaya 2004

Swarthmore College 2010

From the Andrew's Heritage Dictionary:

Andrew (AND-roo)

1. noun. common name.

2. adjective. smart, dumb, intelligent, retarded, clever, stupid, bright, dull, witty, tounge-tied, shrewd, stuttering, slow, quick-witted, moronic, autistic, lively, outspoken, eloquent, dense, daft, idiotic, foolish, thick, spirited, sharp, vigourous, rude, arrogant, pompous, bloated, ostentatious, boastful, inflated, direct, brave, cowardly, gullible, free, free-spirited, burdened, depressed, optimistic, pessimistic, defensive, creative, innovative, irritating, annoying, impossible, infuriating, shy, loud, displeasing, norm-challenging, harassive, irksome, troublesome, vexatious, worrisome, provocative, impatient, pleasant, diplomatic, unreserved, trouble-making, short, defiant, fickle, shallow, timid, audacious, brainless, indoctrinated, indoctrinatory, proud, exploitative, zesty, humourous, anal-retentive, rebellious, lame, innocuous, dangerous, explosive, spontaneous, adaptable, stubborn, pig-headed, nervous, offensive, pestering, useless, ironic, paradoxical.

Usage: You're so Andrew! [Interchange with any of the above definitions]

And yes, I did look at the thesaurus.



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Is it in bad taste to quote one's self?

"The greatest of debaters are not only the most eloquent -- they are the most bruised, the most resilient, the strongest of heart." -- Andrew Loh

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Thursday, June 12, 2008
Istanbul Day 1

If there is one word that describes the Turkish people, that word is friendly.

My trip to Istanbul was an intended dalliance on my way to Bosnia. I stayed with a friend I had just met from -- eat that, you skeptics!

The first day I walked at least 16 kilometers because I was kiamsiap. The metro costs 1.40 New Turkish Liras (YTL) per journey regardless of distance, but had I purely taken it I would have had to transfer from line to line a few times, multiplying total cost. 1 USD = 1.23 YTL, 1 Euro = 1.95 YTL, 1 YTL = 2.63 RM. The public transport in Istanbul is not very efficient in that sense.

I had simit for breakfast, which is a Turkish bread with sesame. Quite nice, if fresh. 50 kurus (1 YTL = 100 kurus)

This is a statue at Taksim Square, (Arabic taqseem -- division) which is kinda like the KL Sentral of Istanbul. You can get anywhere from here.

You know how some cities just smell good, like Dublin? Istanbul is like that. The first day my host picked me up from Taksim I smiled because the wind was hitting my face and it smelt good.

Only later did I find out that it was always windy there because Taksim is on a hill. LOL.

I also found out that Istanbul was built on seven hills, which makes it eeriely parallel to Rome,s seven hills. (I cannot find the apostrophe on the Bosnian keyboard.) So both capitals of Rome had seven hills. Very fascinating.

Now about keyboards, the Turkish keyboard is wicked funny. They have two i,s. The one with the dot (i) represents the ee sound (fit, bit, nit, mit) while the one without the dot represents the uh sound (about, between, today) in English. And they have funny c,s and s,s with dots on the bottom which make them ch,s and sh,s. But the worst part of it is the silent g, which makes no sound at all.

The Blue Mosque


Hahah not only churches have stained glass.

The structure next to the supplicant is the mimbar, from which the mufti preaches. It is similar to the Christian pulpit.

The arches really get me. Fetish-like.

Even the guards are friendly! We talked for a while because he spoke excellent English -- something most Turks cannot do.

It ended like this:

Me: Can I take a picture?
Guard: 1 million lira (which is equal to 1 YTL, the lira suffers from serious inflation)
Me: Pahalı!! (Too expensıve -- and the ı at the end of Pahalı is the uh sound)

Then he laughed because I could speak a bit of Turkish.


Galata Tower

Gatala Bridge (which spans the Golden Horn or Halic)

Turkish food is yumyum! One of my favourites is kofte (upper right dish) --  spiced meatballs which are delicious.

Istanbul University. Very stately.

The Grand Bazaar is where you can find millions of shops that fleece tourists.

I love the colours.

Red and yellow are the colours of Galatasaray (Galata palace), which is the top Turkish football team. It won the championship recently or something. Some parts of Istanbul were saturated in these colours.

And Fenerbahce is widely hated in these areas.

The Turks are amused when, after dismissing you as an ignorant tourist, receive a reply in Turkish. There was this kid who was selling cigarettes and he came up and blocked my path for a while.

He grunted.

I said hayir (no).

Then he laughed out loud and let me pass.

Sherbet! I didn,t get some because I thought I,d see them everywhere. But my first spotting of a sherbet vendor was also my last.

They were selling driving licences hahahahhaa.

Turkish tea.


Not only in Narnia!!!

I was so excited. And they are heavenly -- no wonder Edmund or somebody sold out for Turkish Delight in Narnia. But extremely thirst-inducing.

What I love about the Ottomans and Muslim empires in general is that they provided running water for their citizens. For free. In public squares. Malaysia could learn something, eh?

No trip is complete without an adventure, right? So I was walking to Taksim when this guy came up to me and started speaking English. And at first it was really sketchy and I was trying to shake him off but he persisted and just kept talking. So I actually started talking to him and he started calling me ,my friend, and all and he brought me around the Old City.

And he led me to a *Nike* shoe shop which was run by his relatives and friends or something.

Hahahahhaha these were supposedly *made in Vietnam* hahahhaha

They also made bags. On hindsight I should,ve bought one for my mother because she likes big bags in which she can throw everything -- they were going for like 7 lira. But unfortunately I decided to shop around and compare prices, and ultimately I neither had the time nor a map to navigate my way through Istanbul,s many winding streets back to this place. But dunno about the quality lah.

The colours seemed quite gaudy at first but retrospectively they were quite nice lah.

Very industrious of the Turks :)

But herein lies the twist -- and I knew it was coming but I was stupid enough to decide to play along -- the guy wanted me to go to his tea shop or something, which etched up the sketchiness just a little too much for me. So I told him that he should go back while I check out the Grand Bazaar again, and he was like where is my 5 lira tip? and blablabla.

Then I was incredulous lah and told him that I had bought him lunch and I gave him 1.5 liras for a bus back home because his feet were sore because he was wearing leather shoes without socks.

And I shimmied away into the crowd of tourists.

And to punish myself (and because of my kiamsiapness) I walked back to my place in Sisli, and that is how I walked 16 kilometers on my first day in Istanbul.

But I still think that the Nike experience was worth lunch and the bus fare lah, right?

Posted at 07:40 am by andrewlza

March 13, 2009   04:08 PM PDT
wow that seems like a great experience. how did you learn to speak turkish?

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